What direction is the UMC heading?
A good friend messaged me with some concerns about the left-leaning tendencies she is beginning to see rising up within our denomination (the United Methodist Church). She asked me some pointed questions about my feelings regarding the direction that the denomination is heading. Her primary concerns have to do with abortion and homosexuality.
Here is her post
Hi Pastor Sean,
I think... I enjoyed the article that you posted ( politics ).
I have learned many things since I came to this country, and I believe that I am a Conservative Christian.
I don't believe in Abortion or same sex marriage. Although I have some gay friends! They are all soooo nice, and I really like them too..., but Marriage is for a Man and Woman....because God said so...
I also heard that the United Methodist Church is becoming liberal. One of my Baptist friend in PA was complaining about it ( she didn't know that I was Methodist ). That night... I couldn't sleep!
Is the United Methodist Church becoming liberal.... accepting abortion? accepting same sex marriage?
I have more... to say, but... I will stop here~
I just don't believe that Jesus was liberal...That's all...
Thanks for reading.
PS. _______ was adopted when he was a baby. When I met _______, he told me that he was so thankful that his Birth Mom didn't abort him.... tears... I am thankful too!!! : )
Here is my response to her
Thank you for your message.
The United Methodist Church is a both/and denomination rather than either/or. The founders of our denomination firmly believed in a Christianity both personal and social. Most of my UMC clergy colleagues are theologically conservative (I am) and socially progressive (I am). By that I mean that we believe in the foundational principles of our Christian faith (the Bible, the creeds etc.) but we also acknowledge the value of all human beings and the need to express love, grace, and mercy at all times while fighting for justice and peace everywhere.
I do believe that there is a more "liberal" wing within our denomination that is more theologically liberal and is pushing our denominational leaders to amend some of our laws, specifically with regard to abortion and homosexuality. These issues will come up at our General Conference in April and we will see if the liberal agenda has enough power this time around to make changes.
As of now, this is where the UMC stands on abortion and this is where the UMC stands on homosexuality. Notice that the denomination continues to hold a conservative/traditional view on both of these issues.
I do not think that our denomination will make changes to the Discipline regarding these two issues. However, if they do, I know that there will be many pastors who will need to decide whether they will stay with the denomination (this is what happened in the Episcopal Church recently after they decided to begin marrying and ordaining practicing homosexuals).
I personally feel that our job is to love everyone (I John 4.7-8) and to trust that God will reveal his will to them regarding their lifestyle choices etc. He can forgive any sin, and desires to do just that.
I think in the end, regardless of where we land on some of these controversial issues, we will see each other in heaven if we have professed faith in Christ and have sought to serve God by loving God and loving others.
Only then will we find out who was really right ... and by that point it's not going to matter anyhow